Diet Coke and Alcohol : BAC Overload?

For people still keeping their New Year’s resolution to lose weight, eat healthier, etc. some troubling news recently came down the pipe about diet sodas, more specifically, Diet Coke. Diet Coke contains no calories, but the added ingredient aspartame complicates Diet Coke as a healthy option for losing weight and eating healthier. Studies show that Diet Coke affects sleep cycles, aggravates current health issues, causes headaches, and acts as a toxin within your system. These side effects are not guaranteed, but happen in most cases in one way or another.

Ever gone to the doctor with real, physical symptoms, but he/she can’t find the cause? Well, it’s probably your diet, your environment, or both. Aspartame is the common denominator for over 92 different health symptoms at the root of modern disease. Aspartame is broken down by the body into three substances: methanol, phenylalanine and aspartic acid. Each of these substances can have alarming effects on the body.

Methanol is converted to formaldehyde by the body. Known for its use as an embalming fluid, formaldehyde is not something that many people willingly put into their bodies. Whether the amount of formaldehyde that is produced by the breaking down of aspartame is cause for concern has been the source of some debate by scientists, but it has been proven that low levels of methanol and formaldehyde are toxic.

Phenyalanine is an amino acid. It is generally considered safe for everyone except for sufferers of phenylketonuria (PKU), a somewhat rare genetic disease. But it has been argued that high levels of the substance could cause neurological damage, especially in fetuses. Pregnant women are therefore advised not to consume aspartame.

Aspartic acid is known to be an excitotoxin. A type of neurotoxin, excitotoxins have been known to damage brain and nerve cells. This can potentially cause a number of chronic diseases.

Individuals that believe ordering a diet soda with their whiskey or vodka should know that drinking diet soda with their chose of liquor can actually make them more intoxicated. In the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, scientists have found that diet sodas can increase the effects of alcohol on the body in both males and females. Results of the limited research found that blood alcohol levels were significantly higher when diet soft drinks were mixed with alcohol and consumed by study participants than when alcohol was mixed with a regular soda and consumed. “Individuals were unaware of these differences,” scientists on the study wrote, “a factor that may increase safety risks associated with drinking alcohol.”

While drinking a reasonable amount of diet drinks–one to two each day, suggests Mayo Clinic nutritionist Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.–may be okay, soda drinkers should consider the risks of both sugary and diet sodas before consuming. And, if you decide to go for something healthier, consider water, non-fat milk, or unsweetened tea as good options to quench your thirst.


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